“Culture is a bit like the soil you plant a seed in. For a seed to grow well, it needs good soil.” thirtyone:eight (a Christian safeguarding charity)
Right now, within the Diocese, there are people working to help keep everyone safe.
They are doing things like: being careful about who undertakes a role in a church or at a church activity, learning how to work in the safest way possible, or stepping up to be Parish Safeguarding Officer.
For these things to work, however, there needs to be a good culture - a safe and healthy culture, and that’s where each and every person can make a difference.
Start talking about your culture
Safeguarding Sunday (Sunday 19 November 2023) is an opportunity to start talking with others about the culture in your church and to think about the part everyone plays in creating that culture, and keeping it going.
Healthy, positive cultures lead to safer places for everyone.
So, whether you can give just a few minutes or can dedicate your whole service, thirtyone:eight, the Christian safeguarding charity behind Safeguarding Sunday, has everything you need to help plan and run your event.
Visit our Thank and Pray section for ways to engage with Safeguarding Sunday.
Developing a healthy culture
What is your culture like now and what would you like it to be? The conversations around these questions do not need to happen in one day or even at the same time.
They can happen over time, but by developing healthy cultures, we are more able to:
- better protect people
- better respond to those with a lived experience of abuse
- create flourishing and safe places for all
- call out unhealthy behaviours
- exercise best practice
The healthier the cultures we can develop, the more likely we are to embed positive safeguarding practices into the way we work, worship, and behave. This can only be a good thing.
To help, we have gathered together a range of materials around some key areas to help you and others with your conversations. Please follow the links below to explore the themes:
Talking about what a healthy culture is and might look in your setting
Hearing and valuing the voice of victims and survivors of church-context abuse
Raising awareness of important contemporary safeguarding issues
Thanking and praying for those who coordinate safeguarding in your church
“Safeguarding is not something to be relegated to a tick box exercise. Rather it is something we should do joyfully as a sign of mutual care and concern for one another, and as a demonstration of our understanding that everyone is valued in the sight of God.”
Bishop Simon Burton-Jones, Bishop of Tonbridge
If you need support
If any of the information on this page has been a trigger, please be encouraged to contact the Diocese’s Safeguarding Team. Visit: www.rochester.anglican.org/safeguarding
In addition, Safe Spaces is an independent service supporting survivors of church-related abuse. It is free to access via telephone - 0300 303 1056 (answerphone available outside of opening times), email - firstname.lastname@example.org, or web-chat via www.safespacesenglandandwales.org.uk/
A list of helplines offering support on a range of issues can be found on the Church of England’s website at: www.churchofengland.org/safeguarding/reporting-abuse-and-finding-support
Lead Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser
Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser
Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser